April 24, 2015

Efforts begin to help children receive a Catholic education

By John Shaughnessy

As the archdiocese plans to celebrate its 20th annual Celebrating Catholic School Values event this fall, its main purpose of raising funds to help children receive a Catholic education continues to grow.

“The need is even greater this year,” says Mary McCoy, an assistant superintendent for Catholic schools in the archdiocese. “Our hope is to raise enough funds in order for all families that choose a Catholic education for their children to be able to do so.”

While the major event will be on Oct. 26 in Indianapolis, five advance breakfast/lunch events have been scheduled around the archdiocese in May to explain how scholarship and fundraising efforts can provide a double benefit. (See sidebar listing the events.) The efforts help families who want their children to attend Catholic schools, and they also help donors who hope to make that opportunity available while maximizing the tax benefits of their contributions.

That double benefit arises from the connection between Indiana Tax Credit Scholarships and Indiana school vouchers, McCoy says.

She explains that a Tax Credit Scholarship of at least $500 per child, given for one year, allows an eligible student to receive the state school voucher the following year and for up to 12 years of Catholic education in a Catholic school—a potential of $60,000 in state voucher assistance.

From a donor’s standpoint, there is also the appeal of a tax benefit from contributing to a scholarship. With a 50 percent state tax credit and, for example, a 35 percent federal deduction, a donor can give $10,000 toward scholarships for as little as $3,250, McCoy noted.

For those who pay taxes at a federal rate of 28 percent, and with a 50 percent state tax credit, a donor can give $10,000 toward scholarships for as little as $3,600, she said.

The increase in contributions to the effort has had a tremendous impact in helping children receive a Catholic education in the archdiocese. In the 2012-13 school year, 913 students benefited from Tax Credit Scholarships. The number increased to 2,070 students in the 2013-14 school year. This year, it has increased again, to 2,225 students.

McCoy says the need continues to grow.

“Tax Credit Scholarship needs reach well into the middle class, especially families with multiple children in our schools,” McCoy says. “We don’t believe we have discovered the entire need, and we’re helping and encouraging schools to discover the need.” †


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